New York Times Calls Downtown Bridge Plan "Out of Step"
Maybe that’s an outsider’s misperception. But removing the highways, or downscaling them, might turn downtown and its adjacent neighborhoods, including the riverfront, into more attractive places. And where highways have come down in other cities, property values have gone up. What brings life to a city are attractions, services, homes and walkable streets.
Criticisms of Louisville's downtown highway system in national publications aren't new. Interstate 65 makes a cameo in Jane Jacobs's influential 1961 book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities." While discussing the shoe market that once thrived on Market Street, Jacobs quotes Courier-Journal writer Grady Clay (also a renowned urbanist), who foretells the market's decline at the hands of the incoming interstate.
"The biggest threat, in fact, is the expressway which will cut diagonally across," says Clay. "Nobody at City Hall seems at all concerned about it. I hope to stir up some interest"
The New York Times piece closes by asking why the city should repeat the same mistakes it made with interstates decades ago.
We see traffic problems today and ask how to ease them. But it’s better to think first about what kind of city streets and neighborhoods a city wants, what kind of waterfront it should have and how mass transit could change things.